Posted by|19 September 2014
This almost colorless essential oil is steam distilled from the wood of the sacred Palo Santo tree. It has a tenacious, sweetly woody, citrus aroma with a sharp resinous back note that is both complex and uplifting.
Palo Santo is used in South America in much the same way as White Ceremonial Sage is used in North America – to combat negative energy and to cleanse the space. This uniquely aromatic oil is quickly gaining popularity in the aromatherapy and perfumery worlds. This grounding oil is prized for its spiritual applications, and adds a lovely rounding note to essential oil blends.
The Palo Santo essential oil offered by Mountain Rose Herbs is distilled from sustainably cultivated wood that comes from a 50 acre farm in Ecuador with both naturally occurring and replanted Palo Santo. They have replanted over 5000 Palo Santo trees on the land so far to ensure adequate supply for the future.
Learn more about the amazing oil HERE!
Posted by|18 September 2014
We had so much fun at the Mother Earth News Fair last weekend! It was wonderful to connect with our Pennsylvania customers and to meet some new faces! Hannah Kincaid, Assistant Editor at Mother Earth News, captured this sweet moment at our booth when Mason and Kori had a heartwarming chat about the fancy dress this little festival goer was wearing. She was so proud that her mom made it just for her!
We will have more photos from the event to share soon!
Posted by|15 September 2014
We have a tendency to take our feet for granted—and yet, our feet get us everywhere we need to go each day! If you’ve spent a summer running barefoot or wrestle with dry, cracked feet, a regime of herbal self-care may be just what’s needed.
For those of us who wear work boots, or spend all day standing, our feet may get especially sore or develop a bit of an odor. Fortunately, a little extra tending can help combat both of those challenges! These recipes are suitable for everyday use, or as a special occasional pampering. Feel free to experiment and use the herbs, essential oils, and carrier oils you like best!
The perfect pampering pedicure:
Step 1: Get started by using a pumice stone to remove dry, loose skin.
Step 2: Next, it’s time for a foot soak! Adapt your soak to suit your needs.
Rejuvenating Foot Soak
Fill tub or basin with warm water and add above ingredients. Mix well and soak feet for 15-20 minutes.
Deodorizing Foot Soak
Fill tub or basin with warm water and add above ingredients. Mix well and soak feet for 15-20 minutes.
Herb Blend for Happy Feet
Add equal parts of the following herbs to a bowl and combine well. (I used 2 Tablespoons of each) Scoop mixture into cotton muslin bags and use as an addition to the foot soaks above, or on their own as an herbal foot soak in warm water.
Step 3: Apply the following foot scrub to feet, rubbing well, and then rinse off in the soaking water:
Cleansing Foot Scrub
Mix all ingredients in a ceramic or glass bowl, using a wooden spoon to combine. Add enough water to make a paste. Rub well all over feet. Rinse.
Step 4: Dry feet well, making sure to get between toes. Spritz feet with organic Lavender, Rose, Chamomile, Calendula, Lemon Balm, Rosemary, or Peppermint Hydrosol.
Step 5: This is the time to trim toenails or tend to extra cleaning in and around toes and toenails. Trim toenails to fit the shape of the toe and file for extra smoothness.
Step 6: Rub Healing Foot Salve into feet or lotion of choice. You can even finish with a simple moisturizing application of organic Olive Oil or Sweet Almond Oil.
Moisturizing Foot Salve
½ cup organic Sweet Almond Oil
½ cup organic Jojoba Oil
1 ounce Beeswax
20 drops organic Lemongrass essential oil
10 drops organic Tea Tree essential oil
10 drops Bergamot Mint essential oil
Optional: organic Roman Chamomile essential oil, organic Lemon Balm essential oil
In a Pyrex bowl or 4-cup measuring cup, add oils and beeswax. Heat over boiling water until melted and combined. Remove from heat and stir in essential oils. Pour into tins or jars. This recipe makes 10 ounces of salve, enough to fill two 4-ounce tins and one 2-ounce tin. Let cool until solid (this will only take an hour or so.)
I like to put on cotton socks after slathering my feet with this salve and it doesn’t have to be used only after a foot soak. Rubbing it on your feet in the morning after a shower or prior to going to bed are both great ways to add moisture to overworked feet on a daily basis. Feel free to try different oil combinations or essential oils to suit your personal likes and needs.
Soothing Foot Powder
¼ cup French Green or White Cosmetic Clay
¼ cup Baking Soda
¼ cup Arrowroot Powder or cornstarch
¼ cup Marshmallow Root Powder
10 drops organic Peppermint essential oil
10 drops organic Eucalyptus essential oil
Combine all ingredients well and put into a powder container (or keep in a box or tin and use a brush or powder puff.) Sprinkle on feet or in shoes to absorb moisture and soothe hard-working feet.
You might also find these helpful:
Posted by|14 September 2014
The seasons are changing! While the daytime temperatures here in Oregon are still toasty warm, the evenings are getting cooler and the leaves are just starting to come fluttering down here and there. As much as I hate to see summer go, I admit my thoughts are turning to the tastes and adventures of the coming Autumn. Since I consider these few weeks in September to be a bit of a transition, I think our organic Orange Spice Tea blend is an ideal “bridge” into the cooler months.
I’m not quite ready to give up the cool citrus flavors of summer, but a the cinnamon and cloves in this delicious black tea blend are warm harbingers of the coming Fall. This Ceylon Tea is best served hot and adding a little bit of raw honey, stirred in after steeping, makes it just the right amount of sweet!
Add 2 – 3 teaspoons of Orange Spice Tea to a strainer, infuser or tea bag and pour 1 – 2 cups of boiling water over. Allow to steep for 3-4 minutes. The longer black tea steeps, the more bitter it can become so, depending on how strong you like your tea, steep accordingly! Add honey to taste (and milk, if you’d like.) Sit back, sip, and enjoy the first fluttering leaves of fall!
Posted by|12 September 2014
This bright and uplifting essential oil blend is the perfect aroma to carry a little bit of summer into fall! Fresh citrus and a hint of floral sweetness will leave you smiling as you enjoy this light and lively scent combination as a body spray, room deodorizer, perfume oil, or diffuser blend. Have fun and be creative!
Feeling inspired to mix it up?
For the next 2 weeks, we are offering the essential oils in this recipe (select sizes) at 35% off! Now is the time to stock up on Jasmine Absolute, organic Lemon, organic Lavender, and organic Combava essential oils!
Posted by|11 September 2014
Posted by|10 September 2014
This guest post comes to us from attorney Peter M. K. Frost who leads the Western Environmental Law Center’s efforts to protect and restore wild salmon and steelhead! Frost was raised in Oregon, graduated from Stanford University, and earned his J.D. from the University of Oregon School of Law, where he was editor of the Oregon Law Review. For more than two decades, he has represented local angling groups and national nonprofit organizations in court to restore wild salmon and steelhead runs. From 1992 to 1999, Frost was an attorney for and directed the Western Regional Office of the National Wildlife Federation. In 2000, he received the David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award for Environmental Litigation.
“Salmon ran in runs so thick you couldn’t see the bottoms of rivers, so thick people were afraid to put their boats in for fear they would capsize, so thick they would keep people awake at night with the slapping of their tails against the water, so thick you could hear the runs for miles before you could see them.” —Derrick Jensen
The scene described above—of a West Coast river teeming with wild salmon—was once commonplace.
But now, everything has changed.
Our wild salmon and steelhead runs have been and continue to be seriously threatened by the “four H’s”: degraded habitat, hydroelectric dams, harvest of depleted stocks, and hatcheries. Most wild salmon and steelhead runs are at a fraction of historic levels. Many runs are now less than 10 percent of historical numbers, and hatchery fish—not wild fish—dominate these diminished runs.
Of the four H’s, hatcheries have received only recent attention, yet they can harm struggling wild salmon and steelhead runs. Within the last decade, a consensus among fisheries biologists is that hatchery fish can prey on, out-compete, or interbreed with wild fish, further diminishing their numbers.
To address hatcheries, the nonprofit group I work for, the Western Environmental Law Center, is litigating to reform hatchery operations on rivers in California and Oregon. We are focusing on hatchery operations where genetically significant runs of wild salmon and steelhead exist, and there is still a chance to recover them.
We are working to reform hatcheries on the Mad and Trinity rivers in California, and the Sandy and McKenzie rivers in Oregon. We are also researching hatchery operations on other Western rivers that likely should be reformed.
Reforming salmon and steelhead hatcheries in the West will not be easy and we have hard work ahead of us, as legal battles may continue for years. That’s why we are honored to partner with Mountain Rose Herbs—a company truly dedicated to protecting the West’s natural heritage. The first Salmon-Safe Certified business in Eugene, Mountain Rose Herbs’ support of our hatchery reform work helps allow us to use the power of the law to work to preserve wild salmon and steelhead. As a nonprofit group, we rely on contributions from individuals, charitable foundations, and business partners such as Mountain Rose Herbs to fulfill our mission of protecting the West’s wildlife and wild lands.
With the support of Mountain Rose Herbs, we will continue to work to protect wild salmon and steelhead so that one day we may again witness healthy runs of wild fish rushing through our Western rivers.
Founded in 1993, the Western Environmental Law Center is a nonprofit, public-interest environmental law firm that uses the power of the law to safeguard the wildlife, wildlands, and communities of the American West.
Posted by|08 September 2014
Many cuticle creams on the market today are mixed with yucky chemicals meant to “dissolve” your cuticle. Sure they might be pesky at times, but cuticles serve a purpose. Their job is to protect your nail bed, and our job is to protect them!
Keeping your hands and cuticles well hydrated is the first defense against cracking, peeling, and possible infection, as well as the key to keeping them looking great! If your cuticles are not well moisturized, they are more prone to break, crack, and thus become more vulnerable to bacteria. Maintaining well hydrated cuticles is what keeps them under control as well.
So instead of trimming, try this weekly routine: soak nails in warm soapy water, pat dry and then gently push your cuticles back (with something soft) and slather on some of this cuticle ointment. You can also keep a tin of this cuticle cream in your bathroom, on your nightstand, in your kitchen, and even at your desk to apply throughout the day. You might find that your cuticles are less of a problem, with the added benefit of fewer hang nails, and an overall improvement in nail health.
I love Argan oil! Pressed from the fruit kernels of the Moroccan Argan tree, Argan oil smells lightly nutty (not as much as neem), is so incredibly light, and absorbs quickly into the skin, making it a perfect cosmetic oil for your face, hair, or nails! I like to use it knowing it will absorb quickly and that I won’t get everything around me (especially my face and clothes) super greasy! You can also massage this ointment into brittle nails to help nourish and strengthen them naturally.
Argan Oil Cuticle Cream Recipe
2 Tbsp organic Argan Oil
2 Tbsp organic Sweet Almond Oil
1 TBSP + 1 TSP Beeswax Pastilles
2 Tbsp organic Shea Butter
A couple drops of Vitamin E oil
Essential Oil Blend
1. Place a small to medium sized pot of water (2-3 inches) on the stovetop, over low-medium heat.
2. Place butter, oils, and beeswax into a small Pyrex measuring glass and hang on the inside edge of your pot of water.
3. Stir occasionally until butter and wax are fully melted together in the oil. Remove from heat.
4. Stir in essential oils and vitamin e oil.
5. Quickly pour into 5-6 1/2 oz tins.
6. Place lids loosely onto containers and allow to cool.
7. Once completely cool, place lids all the way on containers, make a label and enjoy!
Australian Sandalwood Essential Oil: Sweet, woodsy, softly floral, and delicately robust. Good for dry and chapped skin. A grounding essential oil sure to boost your mood.
Tea Tree Essential Oil: A classic medicinal with a sharp, earthy, herbaceous scent. A great essential oil to keep your nails in their happy healthy state.
Sweet Orange Essential Oil: Uplifting, citrusy, and sweet. The aroma of sweet orange is cheerful and the oil is naturally antibacterial to keep your nails feeling clean and fresh all day long.
Posted by|07 September 2014
Recently, my energetic co-worker, Mason, and I were chatting about the joy of the Toddler Tea Party! As the proud papa of a three-year-old, the daily tea parties have become a cherished part of his life. This brought back a flood of memories of raising my own kids, as they used to love tea parties or just the special comfort that a hot cup of tea could bring. In fact, all my adult kids are still avid tea drinkers and I like to think all those adorable tea parties helped lay the foundation for the joy of a good, flavorful cup.
As a student at Columbines School of Botanical Studies, Mason has been learning a great deal about plants, herbs, and the offerings of the natural world. I tend to be more of a cook and gardener, so between the two of us, we had a variety of ideas about what makes for great tea for young kids. I asked Mason if he’d be willing to share one of the recipes he makes for his daughter and we also came up with some suggestions for other tasty and soothing tea herbs to share with kids. Here are some ideas for creating a fun, festive and yummy:
Smell Good + Taste Great Tea
1 teaspoon Organic Lemon Balm
1 teaspoon Organic Peppermint
1 teaspoon Organic Oatstraw
1 teaspoon Organic Lycii (Goji) Berries
1 teaspoon Organic Red Clover
Combine herbs in a tea infuser, bag or tea nest and pour 2-4 cups bowling water over. Just the right amount for one of our colorful porcelain tea pots. Let steep for 3-5 minutes and enjoy. Add a little lemon, milk, or honey, if desired.
Pretty Tea Party
1 teaspoon Organic Spearmint
1 teaspoon Organic Hibiscus
1 teaspoon Organic Sage
1 teaspoon Organic Lemon Peel
Combine herbs in a tea strainer, bag or infuser and pour 2-4 cups of boiling water over. Let steep for approximately 3-5 minutes. Feel free to add milk or honey and allow to cool until safe for kids to drink. This tea makes a delightful iced tea too!
Posted by|05 September 2014
From the lovely folks at Herbal Revolution, we bring you…
This spicy tonic is based on a traditional cider vinegar recipe that holds deep roots in the herbal community for providing digestive and respiratory support. Every rendition of this classic recipe is a little different, just as every bottle of handcrafted Fire Tonic no. 9 will have a unique flavor. This infused vinegar can be taken straight by the spoonful, added to your favorite veggie juice, or blended into a delicious homemade dressing.
Herbal Revolution’s unique recipe infuses organic apple cider vinegar from the oldest organic apple orchard in Maine with organically homegrown vegetables and herbs. To this spicy blend they add just the right amount of raw Maine honey.
Visit our Bitters, Elixirs, & Syrups page to see our full line of tasty herbal concoctions!
Posted by|04 September 2014
We are so excited to announce that our new Fall/Winter catalogue will be in the mail very soon!
Often for us, the final step of catalogue production is capturing the perfect cover photo. Here’s a particularly fun moment we caught of our Product Manager and Certified Aromatherapist, Christine, sipping tea while lighting the shoot. Her joy in this photo is just so spirited that we had to share. Must be the magic of Peace Tea!
The final cover will be revealed next week, but you can order a copy to enjoy by clicking here!
Posted by|02 September 2014
While I have been a gardener for nearly thirty years, only recently have I begun saving seeds from my garden with any seriousness. It always seemed a bit daunting and mysterious, and for many years I didn’t think much about where the seeds came from. I simply bought seeds. Period.
Then, I started getting seeds from other gardeners and began to learn more about harvesting, storing, and sharing seeds. There are some great reasons to save seeds from your garden plants! Not only can it save money, but the seeds harvested from your strongest plants are already acclimated to your soil, climate, and growing conditions. The plants become conditioned and the “offspring” have a leg up (so to speak).
I still consider myself somewhat of a beginner, but as each year passes, my confidence grows and I learn more about the best time to collect seeds, as well as new ways to dry and store them. Here’s a little guide to get you started collecting seeds from your garden too…
How to collect and save those precious seeds…
1. Collect seeds from the healthiest, strongest plants. There is something to be said for genetics when it comes to propagating plants. Whether you are dividing or saving seed, go to the best-looking, happiest plants as parents.
2. Allow the seeds to develop on the plant as long as possible. This means a willingness to invite a little untidy chaos into your garden. Many of us have been trained to cut off flower heads as soon as they start to wilt and become unsightly. In order to collect viable seeds, the plants have to be allowed to “go to seed” and put energy into developing healthy seeds, pods, or, in the case of sunflowers (Helianthus annuus) and other Asteraceae family plants—what most folks think of as the “flower” is actually a bunch of flowers packed into a head that produce a huge round of seeds.
3. Be prepared to battle the critters! It can be a bit of a dance to let the seeds develop on the plants and get to them before the squirrels, birds, and other seed-eaters do. In the case of those sunflowers, I harvest the biggest head from the best plants and I allow it to get heavy and droopy with seeds (you can harvest and dry the petals to use too), but I do cut it off and bring it in to the garage to finish aging before the squirrels can get to it. I then let the critters have some of the smaller heads, and feed some of them to our chickens! Some gardeners will tie a plastic or paper bag over a flower or group of flowers they intend to harvest. This allows the seeds to continue ripening on the plant and protects them from the critters.
4. Some plants will drop their seeds before they are ripe and dry. Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum spp) are one of those plants and soon after the flowers wilt, the plant will drop plump green seeds onto the ground. I often let some of these just fall where they will and they dry, age, and, if we’re lucky, eventually sink down into dirt and grow new plants. I love finding surprise “nasties” tucked into cracks and along the edges of the garden. You can collect them from the ground, however, while they are still green and allow to dry. They can then be stored and planted “on purpose” in other areas of the garden.
5. Collecting seeds from pods can be a little tricky. Normally the pods will start out small, green, and tightly closed. Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) has little heart-shaped pods. As the pods age, they generally get browner and dryer. You’ll want to harvest the seeds from these pods once they are mature and dry, but not allow the pods to go so long they naturally split and drop the seeds. Plants of the Brassicaceae family (this includes plants like Mustard) will form tight pods called silicles or siliques. This is another instance where putting a bag over the pods can be helpful. I will also harvest the pods when they are a little under-ripe and allow them to dry on a paper towel or cotton napkin until they are dry, brittle, and ready to pop open to release their seeds.
6. Scattering seeds—there are some plants that I encourage to self-seed throughout my garden: Calendula (Calendula officinalis), Chamomile (Matricaria recutita), Columbine (Aquilegia), and Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis), just to name a few. For these plants, I allow the seeds to ripen on the stem and then I help them to scatter by removing the seeds and broadcasting them throughout the areas of the garden where I’d like them to grow. For Columbine seeds, I actually have to clip the flower head off and turn it upside down, shaking out the tiny round seeds. As long as it doesn’t get too cold (I have a zone 8 garden), they will settle in and grow where they land. If you live in an area where the winters are cold and the plants are unprotected, it is best to gather the seed and store inside until spring.
7. If you do need to dry the seeds, you will want a warm, dry place to do this! If it is late summer and the days are warm and dry, hanging or laying them out of doors may work just fine (as long as you can protect them from the critters and the wind.) A garage, shed, or even the dining room table can work just fine too. Lay them out on a paper towel, cotton cloth, or torn open brown paper sacks and allow to dry thoroughly. For stalks of seeds, like Fennel, you may want to hang upside down as you would for herb drying, making sure to have a clean cloth or bag to catch the seeds that drop. I like to use a paper bag or sack, shaking and tapping the stalks against the inside sides of the bag to release all the seeds. There are some plants, like Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea), where the flower/seed heads are rather dense. I cut these after the outside petals fall and bring the whole head in to dry. Once, it is dry and brittle, I use my thumbs to loosen the seeds and release, spreading them out on the paper to dry for another day or so.
8. Branch out and try saving vegetable and other plant seeds! Squash (winter and summer) is one of the easiest to try. Choose one of the best specimens from an heirloom (or, at least, non-hybrid) variety and scoop out the seeds. Rinse and spread out to dry on paper towels or brown paper until thoroughly dry.
9. Store the saved seeds in an airtight container (sealing plastic bags work fine, but I like glass jars with lids for extra protection from moisture and temperature changes. Our clear glass salve and/or pantry jars are perfect, but you can also use recycled canning, baby food, or other jars. Be sure to label with the plant, the Latin name if you keep track of such things, and the year. Seeds do lose their viability over time and, while you may think you’ll remember what’s what, labeling is imperative!
10. Keep in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight until ready to plant.
Need some seeds to get started?
We offer a wonderful selection of organic herb seeds from Horizon Herbs!
Looking for more resources?
Be sure to check out these wonderful books too: